By Greg Holden, Business Writer & Social Media Manager, IRI
As an American with a non-American spouse, I hold that unique position of being called out when I am not speaking proper English. In its place, I am told, is “American Midwest English,” a form of easily understood mumbling—if you also happen to be American. For instance, I was asked once if my car was in the parking lot outside a friend’s place where we were gathering, I responded with a shrug, saying that it “should be.” Only it came out, as it does for many Americans, “shu-be.” My non-American spouse, who was there with me, smiled and sang the words “shoo-be-doobie-dooo.” She was very amused with herself.
When French company Groupe Bull prepared to merge with American firm Zenith Data Systems, American and French engineers working for Bull discussed the difficulties of working with each other. As the Americans saw it, their French colleagues took an “analysis paralysis” approach to problem solving: They insisted on analyzing the problem completely and correctly before taking any action. Americans, in the French engineers’ view, insisted on action from the start, often at the expense of fully understanding the problem.
Retaining top technical talent is a challenge for organizations everywhere. According to the Industrial Research Institute’s (IRI) annual R&D trends surveys, which ask R&D managers to identify what keeps them up at night, retention of R&D professionals is typically reported as a top five concern among R&D managers at firms of all sizes. While a one-size-fits-all approach to rewarding and retaining technical employees doesn’t exist, general patterns do emerge from the research IRI conducts into the topic. Here are the top four “best practices” in rewarding technical talent found by today’s leading practitioners of R&D and innovation management. Continue reading